The Quantum Pontiff

Category archives for Words

Sonnet 59

In the New York Times today there is an interesting article about Helene Hegemann whose debut novel, “Axolotl Roadkill,” drew wide praise. You know this story: turns out that the book contains plagiarized passages (plagiarism: check, sales rising: check.) What I find fascinating about the story, however, is not this rehash of a tried and…

Everday Orthogonality

Another one from Michael, who spotted an article about one of my favorite mathematical words to use in everyday speech (much the chagrin of non-scientists) used in the Supereme Court of the United States: Supreme Court justices deal in words, and they are always on the lookout for new ones. University of Michigan law professor…

New Word for Friday

The prime number theorem is a statement of a quantuplicity: there are about N/log N prime numbers in the first N numbers. quantuplicity noun. The quantitative relationship between two amounts. Usually referring specifically to the case when this is expressed as a ratio giving the number of times that one contains another (or vice versa.)…

New Word for Wednesday

A word which might be useful in describing depictions of Jesus in South America: Iconotropy noun. The misinterpretation of icons of an earlier cult by a later cult. Especially so as to bring the beliefs of the old school in line with the new school. The monotheist bested the polytheist by repeated counterarguments of iconotropy.

New Word for Tuesday

The word which is closest in the dictionary to my name: Daven. verb. 1. To recite a prayer. 2. To rock too and fro (as if praying.) Have you ever noticed how some very smart mathematicians daven when they are excitedly talking about research?